26" racquets

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by t135, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Trying to get a feel for the best 26" racquet for a junior. Daughter is currently using the 26" nadal style Babolat frame. To me it doesn't seem to have much feel. It's the real deal frame of course, not the super cheap one. The balance also feels a little head heavy. Maybe even a little too much power.

    I'm a 25+ year player and former pro but out of the loop on junior frames. Whats the word? Any experienced recommendations here ?
     
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  2. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

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    My kid uses the Dunlop 300 frame. Good feel and control. I did not want a big power frame. I wanted to encourage him to hit through the ball.
     
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  3. mhk808

    mhk808 New User

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    Good question but hard to answer when the manufacturers don't even post the racquet specs. Basically gotta choose by color or spend a fair amount of time measuring and demo-ing sticks.
     
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  4. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    I recommend Boris Becker Jr. frame

    Plush and comfortable, designed to keep arms safe. 100 inch head. Designed for slightly lower string tension 48 to 54lbs.
     
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  5. akamc

    akamc New User

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    I went through the same search for my kid and ended with this: Volkl Quantum 10 Jr 26": enough heft but maneuverable (still 3 points head light when leaded to 10.4 oz), plush (60 flex with power holes), 100 sq.in, narrow beam (22mm), very well-engineered like a shorter version of a grown-up Volkl. It's a great junior player's racquet. I have a used one for sale if you are interested in trying it.
     
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  6. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    My opinion is that any kid of at least average size, age 8 and older, can use and should use a 27 inch frame. And that opinion is shared by pretty much every top coach you will talk to.

    It gives you plenty of choices for fantastic racquets.
     
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  7. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Daughter = 54"
    Racquet = 27"

    You sure about that Willis? I've been there and done that and I never saw or heard any of my fellow USPTA or USPTR professionals suggest that an 8 year old would benefit from playing with an adult size racquet. I ran junior programs with hundreds of kids as well as college tennis camps for juniors. An inch isn't much but, it's an important inch. Especially when there are real deal junior racquets on the market that allow a junior to learn quality stroke mechanics.

    But thanks for your opinion. Any other positive recommendations for current junior frames?

    I just realized TW has demos for many of them.
     
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  8. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    My son is 9 yrs and ~54 inches tall.

    He uses the Pro Kennex dynamic 67. It is 26.2 inches long, and RA = 55. It's listed strung weight is 10.4 oz, but the 2 he uses are 9.4 and 9.7 oz. Still kinda heavy for a 9 yr old, I guess. I also got him a Prince EXO junior. That is 26 inches, 8.8 oz, and RA = 59.

    He prefers the Pro Kennex because of the solid feel/sound. The Prince has the modern racquet hollow sound which he does not like :)
     
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  9. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Yes OP...I am 100000000% sure. My kid has been using a full size frame since her 5th birthday with perfect stroke mechanics. Rick Macci, Sekou Bangoura Sr, Nick Saviano, Emilio Sanchez-Vicario....and countless other top coaches will say the same thing.

    I have a resume too....20 years coaching. Worked for Macci, worked for Sekou Bangoura, attended countless seminars all over the country.

    Once a kid is hitting regulation balls they should use a full size racquet. The myth that an inch smaller or 2 ounces lighter is needed is purely false. Equipment companies love this smaller racquet BS.

    A kid taught with proper technique will perform great with a full size frame. Many can do it at age 5, some 6.

    I said age 8 because so many people believe the myth and I did not want to shock you too much. But at 54" your kid should be using a full size frame. Mine was doing it at 46" and looked like a little pro.

    You come to FL. and I guarantee you I can have your kid hitting better than ever with a full size frame in 1 hour.....guaranteed. And you and your daughter will wonder how the heck you did not do this years ago.

    Or do it yourself. Get a 27 inch frame, stiffness around 57-62. And within a few sessions she will be hitting amazing. I guarantee it. Keep the technique tight as always. You will never say the words 26 inch racquet ever again. They are a total waste of money.

    Common sense.....hard regulation ball....plus kid with tennis experience who can hit balls very hard.....lighter/smaller frame...ouch. Simple physics and common sense. You do not let a kid hit a regulation ball hard with a smaller racquet. Don't believe me? Try it yourself, go hit a basket of balls hard with a smaller racquet, your arm will not say thank you!

    Caveat.....you want to train volleys for a session? Sure....go to your smaller racquet if her technique needs work. Then back up to the 27". That is the only possible use of a smaller frame for a 54" kid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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  10. akamc

    akamc New User

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    I don't know about that... The only constant here is the standard ball and its weight.

    However, small kids hit shots at lower speeds (i.e. lower momentum for a given ball mass). Also, their height, arm length, grip size and muscular strength are all lower. It makes sense to start with proportionate quality equipment (not talking about floppy metal racquets under 9.5 oz here). If your size, strength and technique are still budding, will you enjoy handling a long, head-heavy racquet with a large swingweight? Do Little Leaguers start out with full-size Louisville sluggers?

    What is true is that the kids will soon outgrow transitional equipment... but at least they are less likely to strain and/or pick-up weird hitches in their swing, and they will be having a lot more fun sooner, which is worth something.
     
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  11. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Aha....glad you posted....lots more myths here. With all due respect my opinion is formed from decades of work, and work with some of the best junior coaches and sports doctors in history.

    Myth 1:.....Kids hit at lower swing speeds. False. Totally the opposite. Go to a local park and watch 90% of adults hit....bunted forehands with strait take backs, pancake soft serves. Go watch any 7-10 year old junior hit who has been taught proper technique, high take back, contact point, follow through.....they swing WAY faster and hit WAY harder than almost all adults.

    So because of this myth we give kids a small light weapon which they swing faster than an adult with developed musculature and tendons to hit a hard regulation ball hard. Horrible idea. Try it....go get a 25 inch racquet and hit a basket of balls really hard. Now hit 10 more baskets over a few more days. Then come back and please tell us how your arm feels.

    Myth # 2....grip size. Sports doctors will explain you are better off with a grip too big than small. Full size racquets come in 4-4 1/8 inch grips.....fine for most any kid over age 6. Perfect for more 7-9 year olds.

    Myth 3....less an inch and a few ounces results in better technique. Nope, just the opposite. When kids get a weapon that allows them to meet the hard regulation balls and the technique is kept tight by the coach, it results in much more confident strokes. An extra inch has zero negative affect on a kid's swing pattern if well coached.

    Myth 4.....smaller racquets result in less strain and more hitches. False.....the sports doctors and people with physics backgrounds I have consulted over the years say the smaller racquets result in MORE strain. Light and small meets heavy ball going fast worse than bigger tool doing same. Hitches? Again....come to FL or CA and visit with any good coach. They will show you 6-8 year olds with text book technique and amazing strokes with full frames. These are not super kids....just coached properly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
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  12. NetNinja68

    NetNinja68 Rookie

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    I just purchased the Wilson Juice 26 for my very advanced 7 year old daughter. We we're not sure she would like it based on the fact she has always played with a Pure Drive (23 & 25) but she absolutely loves it! It really came down to swing weight and the Pure Drive 26 was just way to heavy for her whereas, the Juice was only .3oz heavier than her Pure Drive 25and offered a significant increase in power and control. If you have a daughter or son similiar to mine, check this racquet out!
     
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  13. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    If you have a very advanced 7 year old you should have gone to the full size frame. The 26 inch serves no purpose for a 7 year old who hits hard and is advanced and causes nothing but more arm strain. And you are simply delaying her mastery of the full frame for no reason. The Pure Drive 26 or even a full size frame being 'too heavy' is purely in her mind and results from too much talking back and forth about racquets. Within 2 sessions of using a full size with moderate stiffness and a 4 inch grip, she would wonder how she ever hit with a 25-26. Seen it first hand countless times over the years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
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  14. akamc

    akamc New User

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    I hear you and the case you make, but your experience is probably unusual in that it is somewhat more extreme. Consider a smallish girl age 6-8 with no clear demonstrated ability yet for tennis who is starting the game, not some high-level Florida junior who is playing 5 hours every day trying to get on IMG's radar screen.

    To push the argument: if bigger is always better, why would a monster athlete like Nadal who is unquestionably larger and stronger in every way than any 6-8 year-old (however talented) still use just a 27" long, lightish weight, size 1 or 2 racquet? Yet they clearly play in different universes in terms of swing speed. There must be an optimum fit for each player somewhere.
     
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  15. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Yes, I am clearly talking about experienced juniors. But I believe any kid not ready for a full size is not ready for real balls, they should be using orange or green.

    The bigger top pros many times go with extended custom frames. It has been determined the proper size range for racquets, too long is not good, nor is too short.

    Smaller racquets are for low compression balls, full size frames for regulation balls.
     
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  16. Alfy

    Alfy New User

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    I'll second NetNinja68 on the Juice 26. Besides being lighter it is also not head heavy. The Prince 26's like the Tour and Pink are a tad lighter than the Juice, but are more balanced than the Juice.
     
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  17. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    You could add some lead to 26 inch frames as the kid gets stronger.
     
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  18. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Sure, but just not worth the effort in my view. The kid will be just fine with a 27.
     
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  19. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Extract the hyperbole from some comments and I think you'll find a helpful solution.
     
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  20. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Uggg, I hate cryptic posts like this. Talk specifics or this forum dies as an information source. We have already lost too many good posters.

    There is no hyperbole. My conclusions come from decades of research, talking to some of the best coaches of all time, sports doctors, etc.

    Facts:

    1. Small racquets are not suitable for hitting hard regulation balls.

    2. No well coached kid EVER needs a smaller racquet once they reach at age 8.

    If you have specific well thought out or researched opinions that counter any of my posts please state them so we can debate it. What do you base your opinions on, your experience, etc.
     
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  21. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    If your daughter were hitting non-regulation balls at 5-6, would you still have given her a 27" one?
     
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  22. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    This is what I did with my son to great effect. At 5-6 years old - 25" racquet and orange balls, at 7-8 years old 26" racquet with green dot balls and more regulation balls into 8. As he grew from 7 to 8, I added some weight and by the time we were hitting a lot of regulation, his 26" Prince Ozone Tour was over 10 oz and a few points HL. A few months before turning 9, he moved to a full size racquet at nearly 11 oz. He was 5' tall at 9YO, weighed 90 lbs, and could hit with good technique, pace, and spin.

    My $.02: make sure the technique is solid at all times, don't hit regulation balls with anything under 10 oz, and use soft strings at relatively low tension.
     
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  23. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Yes. She used green balls at time with a full frame starting at age 5.

    It is a one way street....a small racquet vs hard ball equals ouch. But a large racquet with proper technique can be used for any type ball.
     
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  24. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    I can live with this compromise. However I do not believe the difference between 27 and 26 matters in regards to technique with proper coaching....at least it never has with the kids I have been involved with.

    But my age deal holds up even with your kid....he was still 8 when he went full size.

    No well coached kid, of at least average size, age 8 or over needs a smaller frame. Its all in their/parents/coaches heads.
     
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  25. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I generally agree. He could have been fine with a 27" earlier, but "growing" his 26" did almost the same thing, at least it terms of weight, which is what I consider most important in playing with regulation balls. Some of these small frames are just so light. My daughter just turned 8 and is on 26" right now using mostly green dot. Her technique is not as good as his was at that age, but we're getting there.
     
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  26. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    Ask the player to extend his arm (elbow straight)

    Now put the racquet under his hand and see if an entire hand cover that racquet length. If hand is small compare to a racquet than it is bigger. If hand is longer than the racquet is smaller (doesn't happen too often in my experience)

    Above is the best way to measure if 26 or 27 or 25 are suitable for junior.
     
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  27. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    How dare you try to bring sense to this discussion.
     
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  28. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    IMO, there is no one-size fits all. General measuring techniques like this don't take into account the level of the player, weight of the racquet, type of balls used, type of training, etc, etc.

    I see this examples all the time. Parents (and club programs) use the measuring technique on the USTA website (extend arm down side holding raquet and it shouldn't touch the ground) and end up with feather-light 23" or 25" - then feed them rock-hard regulation balls. Makes no sense.
     
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  29. CoachDad

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    Exactly....that measuring post is about the silliest thing I have ever read on these boards....and that says a lot.

    We have researched this extensively, talked to physics professors, top coaches, sports doctors. A smaller and lighter racquet is not designed to hit regulation balls. It creates more arm stress. And we have hundreds of kids we have trained, of all skill levels, who hit great with 27s at age 6-7-8 years old.
     
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  30. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Well that's it then, I'm gonna get my daughter a Prestige Pro like mine then. A hair under 12 oz and 27" long. Daughter is 10 y.o. 70 lbs and 54" tall.. She'll be fine apparently. If she complains about the weight and maneuverability I'll just tell her to cry on someone else's shoulder.
     
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  31. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    70 lb kid with a 66 RA, 12.2 oz racquet :shock:
    The shoulder she will be crying about will be her own.
     
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  32. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    I come across silly parents every training session and camps.

    If you can train 6-7 years with 27 size racquet and regulation balls go for it (warning to train your own kids).

    First of all, you never hit regulation balls with 23 or 25 racquet (neither it was mention above) red or orange balls (green will bounce higher but fine with 26 inches if a player can handle high balls)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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  33. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    yeah can't imagine that shoulder will be in place after few hits..

    I think 10 years old can handle 26 or 27 around 11oz up (add weight as per needs) I think it is very important that junior develop right technique.
     
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  34. CoachDad

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    Sir, not what I said at all. I clearly stated that you look for lighter 27s with 4-41/8 grips.

    What strokes would she complain about at her age? Little kids actually slice better with the heavier frames. They also serve better. I have seen it so many times I have lost count.

    Volleys? Yup...then I agree. I also clearly stated that we use 26s to train the technical aspects of volleys. But tell me....when is the last time you saw a 10 year old junior spend lots of time at the net in a USTA?
     
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  35. CoachDad

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    Simply not true. A few ounces does not effect a kid's shoulder with proper technique.

    However, I specifically recommended lighter frames than 12.2 ounces and stiffness closer to 57-60ish. The stiffness is more important than the weight in terms of arm strain.
     
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  36. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Again, not true. Look, this is not a guess. This is the result of decades of research, talking to people who understand physics, sports doctors, top coaches.

    I want you to think about what you say here.....11 ounces okay with proper technique.....12.2 ounces will hurt the shoulder even with proper technique. Do you realize what an ounce is??

    Do you know that a lighter racquet promotes an excessively tight grip? Did you know a tighter grip leads to injuries all up and down the arm? Try it. Get a light 26 and play for a month. Tell me how your arm feels.

    Do you realize most parents and coaches worry about an ounce....then give a kid a racquet with a stiffness probably around 72 or more! Junior racquets it is hard to get stiffness measurements so we have to have our experts estimate as best they can.

    So a 27 inch Wilson, stiffness 57, weight 11 ounces.....most think is awful for kids. 26 inch Babolat, weight 9.5 ounces, stiffness probably in the 70s....good? Sorry, pure silliness and the opposite of the truth.

    If my idea is so wrong how come Serena and Venus no chronic shoulder injuries, Sonya Kenin no shoulder injury, Sekou Bangoura Jr. no shoulder injuries, my daughter after 3 years no shoulder pain, Chi Chi and Chalena Scholl no shoulder injuries.

    All of these players, and countless more D-1 and top juniors, were moved to 27s as 5-9 year olds. All the coaches I deal with track their players over time. Our players have a very low arm injury rate. Why? Proper warmup, body care, technique.

    I see so many coaches and parents worry about an ounce or 2 of weight...then let the kids bash with no or little warm up. Or use stiff racquets. Or hit with poor technique. Or never give any thought to string type or tension. Worried about the wrong things!

    Sacred cows and myths are hard to break. I have provided 7 player examples above who I know or know the parents/coaches of and know what racquets they used as kids. I also know that none of these players have shoulder injuries. And I know all these players play lots of high level tennis for their current ages.

    If you guys can provide me with 7 examples of kids who used 27s at young ages who have shoulder injuries, please do. Lets talk specific examples of players. And I mean documented cases of kids hurt by 27s, not a kid simply saying that a racquet 'feels' heavier or 'weird' because they are not adjusted to the new stick.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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  37. racgec

    racgec New User

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    We switched my daughter to a lighter (~10 oz) 27" at about 8, when she started hitting with yellow balls most of the time. She did progress from a 25" with foam balls to a 26" with orange to the 27" with yellow. I agree that this decision should be less about age/size, and more about technique.

    The one thing I've been wondering about though, is the head size, and how does that factor in to the equation? She is 10.5 now, and uses a slightly oversized head at 105 sq in. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
     
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  38. CoachDad

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    In regards to strain on the arm, the head size is not one of the big factors compared to stiffness. As far as performance, here is a good tutorial on various specifications.

    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/specsandspeed.php
     
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  39. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    CoachDad, every kid is different don't put advance kids with beginners or intermediate level.

    Every kid's girl or lad is different physically and mentally. We can't say one can handle x amount weight or size works for other without any problem (even they are at the same level) so many factors can cause injury in tennis and simply discussing racquet size won't work, but again, I am not going to get into more details because every kids are different.

    I mention racquet size mesurement ratio as a standard way to find out the length for any junior. Grip size is also something to consider in the mix but again grip size two works for nadal won't work for other pros... you can talk and talk for hours on this topic, and I will stop here.
     
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  40. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    This is very simple. Kids age 8 and over or any kid hitting regulation balls need to use 27 inch racquets. They are properly designed for these balls. Kids can do so at ages as young as 5, mine did, Sonya Kenin did....they are not super girls in any way. We have multitudes of proof of this, real world examples. Tiny kids can do it, Sonya Kenin was and is smaller than kids her age.

    The best coaches in the world for kids such as Rick Macci, move kids to 27s soon as possible and insist the technique stays tights. If a kid is not "mentally or physically" ready?.....they should be playing Quickstart instead of real tennis anyway....soft balls, little racquets.

    Lighter racquets are more likely to cause injury that heavier ones when used with with regulation balls. The measuring tools are simply wrong. Anyone that tells you to measure for racquet length based on height or hand length or any such methods is wrong.

    Kids used to use wooden racquets back in the day weighing 14 ounces at least. And sports doctors saw almost no incidences of tennis elbow back then in kids. Not every dad would saw off the wood sticks for goodness sakes. Kids just picked up stock frames and hit. How did they hit with long heavy sticks?? Why have incidences of children's arm injuries increased with the advent of small and light frames??

    Racquet companies make a ton on all these silly sized racquets. And too many parents and coaches have fallen for it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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  41. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    CoachDad, I don't know what "Physicist" you are talking to, but I would suggest you stop (and check his credentials) as you are gettting some bad advice.

    For a small child, it is much better for their arms to use shorter racquets. Shorter the better.

    Why? Because any real physicist will tell you that moment is smaller with shorter racquets than with longer racquets. The longer the racquet, the contact point of the ball is further away from the arm, which means more moment and more energy is required to fight that ball back to the other side. That is going to put more stress on the arm. The longer moment means more potential for speed, but you are paying for that speed by requiring more energy.

    For example, if you want to break a child's shoulder, it would be easier if you push on an extended arm than an arm that is folded. If you still don't believe me, go and hit some extended racquets. They are going to feel heavier, even if the racquet weighs the same as a shorter one. Just go and check the swingweight.

    This goes double for hitting regulation balls because they are heavier and require more energy to return them. You want your child to use the shortest racquet possible to hit that heavy ball back, if keeping that child's arm safe is your top priority.

    And 10 ounce racquet is fine for a child. There is no real reason for getting a heavier racquet unless your child is competing against much bigger kids. If you are hitting the sweetspot in the racquet, there is no appreciable advantage to hitting a heavier racquet. A heavier racquet is useful when your child is playing against more powerful players and you want to reduce the twisting.

    Whether or not reducing the racquet twisting is better than using a heavier racquet for your child's arm, no one really knows as no one has done a formal research on it. Everything CoachDad is saying is anecdotal and I am sure you can find someone saying totally opposite than what he is saying. Neither has been proven, so go with what you feel is right for your child, though it is probably best if you use that opportunity to get your child to hit more square in the sweetspot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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  42. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Catching up on posts from a couple days ago - it seems that there is simply no one size fits all. This would make sense as kids don't develop tennis skills and physical abilities at the same ages and the at the same rate. It should be looked at case by case...

    The one thing it seems everyone agrees on is hitting regulation balls with small, light racquets is a potential hazard. Too bad we see this scenario all to often.
     
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  43. CoachDad

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    gameboy, sorry you are very wrong and your post is bad advice for parents. It is not true at all that a shorter racquet is better or safer when all factors are taken into account.. In tennis racquets, shorter means lighter and in many cases stiffer. What you are saying is very bad advice. Imagine some parent reading your quote and going out to get a 23-25 inch frame for their smaller but hard hitting child now....not good.

    Honestly, you should remove that post.

    You are confused as to what "moment" is. Moment is not based on just racquet length. Moment is also comprised of weight and balance point. Both weight and balance point can be customized using lead. Different off the shelf racquets can have very different balance points. Some are head light, others head heavy. Moment is important regarding volleys mostly. But in this discussion is not as big a contributor to kid's arm stress compared to other factors.

    From Racquet Research:

    "Moment is the turning force pivoting the racquet head down when you hold the racquet parallel to the ground. Moment, in Newton.meters, is a measure of how heavy the racquet feels to hold up parallel to the ground (not merely the weight of the racquet, but this weight multiplied by its lever arm).

    Moment should be especially important for juniors and ladies. A light racquet having a balance point far from the hand may have a larger Moment than a heavy racquet with a head-light balance, so merely knowing the weight of a racquet is not enough, and may be misleading.

    It is deplorable that ignorant consumers are being enticed to buy dangerous racquets by misleading sales ploys like inviting them to pick up the racquet by the wrong end to see how light it is. This "pick up appeal" pitch is causing tennis to lose players and popularity at an alarming rate. What counts is Moment, not weight. Moment is the racquet's weight times its lever arm, which is the distance to the balance point from the axis of rotation (this axis is at the middle of the hand, 7 cm from the handle end). Weight in the metric system is the mass of the racquet, in kilograms, times the acceleration due to gravity (9.81 meters/s2), and the distance to the balance point is in meters. The unit of measure of torque is the Newton.meter (1 Newton.meter = 0.7375 foot pounds of torque = the same force you would feel holding a 3.6 ounce weight at the end of a meter stick). The lower the Moment, the better."

    So you have no idea if that short and lighter racquet has less or more moment than a properly designed full size frame. A 26 may actually have higher moment than a 27 depending on balance point, weight, etc. How about a short racquet that is head heavy vs a 27 that is head light?? So shorter may be worse on all counts...including moment. But again, not as important on all the other factors.

    You go hit balls with the full and hard strokes of any well coached kid. Go hit with a 23 and a 25. Then come give us your "anecdotal evidence"

    Anecdotal? We have talked to 2 sports doctors in their 60s who are tennis nuts. They remember all types of racquets. Back when kids would mostly pick up wooden sticks, full size, 14-15 ounce....they never saw any arm injuries in kids. As the lighter racquets came about, more. As the shorter and even lighter frames came out...still more.

    Anecdotal? How come players we have TRACKED, players who have hit as many or more balls from age 5 than anyone on the planet with full size frames using good technique, proper stiffness frames, proper warm ups....have no arm injuries?

    Sounds like anecdotal is way more important than you guessing that shorter vs longer physics principal overrides all other factors.

    Heavy racquets do prevent twisting somewhat. Twisting is caused by several factors....bad technique and the sweet spot. Off center hits cause twisting. Of course head size is important in how much a racquet will twist with off center hits.

    But where you are really wrong is what factors are big contributors to arm strain. You cite a physics principal of short vs long objects which is a meaningless contributing factor. The difference in a 26 vs 27 is not going to matter at all compared to things like frame stiffness, head heavy or head light, technique, string tension and type, proper warm up, etc. And go hit with a 25 vs a 27 and the "moment' factor will pale in comparison to all the other factors that increase stress.

    Technique, proper warm up, string type, tension, racquet weight, stiffness, head heavy or light.....these things matter much, much more.

    For you to put up a post telling people to go out and let their kids use short racquets to be safer....with no mention of frame stiffness, balance point, string type and tension, warm up, technique, is not very responsible.

    Here is more information, from a MD and PhD, concerning racquet characteristics and strain on the arm.

    http://tennis.about.com/od/tenniselbow/a/racquets_strings_to_prevent_tennis_elbow.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
    #43
  44. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Yes, anecdotal. Your advice is all anecdotal because they are all your own experiences, with no formal published studies. That is by DEFINITION, anecdotal.

    If you disagree, then by all means, share a link to the published, peer-reviewed study and I will be all ears. The about.com link you have is written by a tennis pro with references to studies that really do not state what he is proposing.

    I have an aerospace engineering degree, and I am quite familiar with what moment is. And some of what you are saying is true about balance point and weight. But most of what you are saying is simply not true.

    With everything being equal (same balance point, same weight), the shorter racquet is going to produce less stress on the arm because of its shorter length (moment = length X force). You are saying 27" is always better, but that is simply not true. If you are recommending customization with weights anyway, that is done better with 26" racquet to start with for a younger child.

    Let's look at a very popular racquet for a child, Babolat Pure Drive. Here are the specs:

    Pure Drive: 11.1 oz,, 4pt HL, 308 Swingweight
    Pure Drive Lite: 10.3 oz, 3pt HL, 298 Swingweight
    Pure Drive 26": 9.4 oz, 2pt HH, 271 Swingweight

    You can see from the specs exactly what the manufacturer is trying to do with each of these racquets.

    As racquets get lighter, it becomes more difficult to hit balls that are further away from its center of gravity (it will cause the racquet to twist). That is why the lighter the racquet, the center of gravity gets closer to the head. It puts the weight of the racquet closer to where it is needed the most, behind the ball.

    That is exactly what you want if you want to minimize the impact on the arm. You want something light so that the arm is not as stressed, but the weight is closer to the head so that the mass is concentrated where it is needed.

    That is what any engineer or physicist will tell you (and exactly what the engineers at Babolat - AND EVERY OTHER RACQUET MANUFACTURERS - are doing). Perhaps you should let these people who design racquets do what they know best.

    If you believe your child can handle heavier weight, you can experiment with weights to see if you can make the racquet feel a bit more manuerable, but the shorter racquet will produce lower moment forces. A simple swingweight chart above shows you that.

    Physics is not a meaningless contributing factor. Physics does not care what your opinion is. It is quite simple to calculate the forces involved between 27" and 26" racquets. The moment equations shows you in black and white that the moment is lower for 26" racquets.

    I would seriously recommend you reading up on physics before recommending others on it.

    It is fine to recommend people based on your personal experiences, but don't make it sound like physics is on your side when you clearly do not understand the forces involved.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
    #44
  45. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    what racquets are the pro's using?

    Serena - 70 inch height, 200 lbs :) ~ 11 oz.., RA < 60
    Venus - 73, 160, ~ 11 oz, RA < 60
    Nadal - 73, 190, < 12 oz, RA = 70
    etc..

    and one of the posters wanted to go with a prestige pro (12.2 oz , RA = 66) for his 56 inch tall, 70 lb daughter, and is apparently being encouraged out here..
     
    #45
  46. BSPE84

    BSPE84 Semi-Pro

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    This engineer agrees with your assessment from a physics perspective. Makes sense that lower overall weight would also promote better technique for younger kids who are of smaller build. The key seems to be to use as heavy a racquet as a kid can tolerate and not suffer on technique.
     
    #46
  47. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    >>Anecdotal? We have talked to 2 sports doctors in their 60s who are tennis nuts. They remember all types of racquets. Back when kids would mostly pick up wooden sticks, full size, 14-15 ounce....they never saw any arm injuries in kids. As the lighter racquets came about, more. As the shorter and even lighter frames came out...still more. <<
    I think experiences of 60yo doctors is not exactly relevant. With old rackets, springy strings and old technique players could not hit the crap out of the ball and stay in the rallies forever. But now with the lighter rackets, dead strings and modern topspin everyone is encouraged to hit every ball as hard as they can and it still goes in. This together with endless running corner to corner at full speed will cause injuries, especially in girls. Increase in injuries just shows that tennis is becoming more and more dangerous sport, not because they introduced junior rackets of various sizes. I am an old dinosaur myself and I actually started playing with a junior wooden frame. But I could not strike the ball like my daughter can now because I would hit the net or the ball would fly out on me.
     
    #47
  48. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you.
     
    #48
  49. nn

    nn Hall of Fame

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    ah you sound like Johny Mac.. he keep saying the same thing that lighter racquet and poly string has change tennis and way Nadal other move corner to corner makes pretty hard for young kids to emulate..
     
    #49
  50. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    My son is 6 and he plays with a 26 inch racket and green dot balls.This summer i think im gonna get him a 27 and move to regulation balls.
     
    #50

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